There were two problems that were entirely my fault. (1) Since I divided the recipe by 4, I got a 1 1/2-pound pork loin instead of a 5-lb. pork butt. The resulting meat was a little dry, and I think the extra fat from the pork butt would've made a more moist dish. (2) This dish cooks in the oven for 4 hours. If I'd been thinking, I would've picked a day to make it that wasn't 95 degrees F. It got a bit toasty in the kitchen, so we moved our plates and beers to the card table in the living room to eat. I'm wondering if I could adapt the recipe to use on the grill, thus to avoid the extreme heat in my kitchen.
I rate this recipe a plum. Really, superbly tasty, though not something I'll eat every week. Perhaps once a month or so.
One bottle of Tequila
5 pounds pork butt cut into 2-inch cubes
5 Tbsp annatto seeds I couldn't find annatto seeds at either grocery store I went, but I didn't go try the Indian grocery store a town over. I substituted a bit of turmeric for color
2 Tsp. cumin seeds
1 Tbsp. whole black pepper
1/2 Tsp. whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
2 habanero peppers, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
8 garlic cloves
Juice of 5 lemons
2 Tbsp. salt
Grind (in a spice grinder or mortar and pestel, not a coffee grinder for chrissakes). ana actually ground the spices in the mortar & pestel, though I usually use a coffee grinder for this sort of thing
with spices from the grinder
Add the lemon juice. Add a shot of tequila. Then drink a shot. Then add, maybe one more shot. Then drink a few. Shots. More.
Put pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes, with the marinade, in a large ziplock bag to soak.
Line an 8X13-ish baking pan with banana leaves. Pour in pork and marinade for at least four hours, at best overnight. Drink more tequila.
Cover with banana leaves and seal the pan with foil. Bake in a 325F degree oven for four hours. Finish the tequila in this time. I have to admit that I did not finish my bottle of tequila.
Banana leaves are optional, I didn't use them, but don't use any other leaves or corn husk. Scotch bonnets can be used in place of the habaneros. I thought these were the same thing, actually. Shows what I know. Use gloves when you handle those, or get some decent mechanics degreasing soap before you touch your privates. I made a special trip to the store for gloves. The tequila should be good, but doesn't have to be top shelf. I used Sauza, some kind of anejo. 'Twas good. You should have finished the bottle by now.
Cost: significantly less than $7700, significantly more than McDonald's. Was actually a most cost-effective meal.
Special effects: if you make this hot enough, it'll cause a flood of endorphins. I think the beer is causing enough endorphins tonight.
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